Texas Rangers vs Toronto Blue Jays ALDS Game 1 Betting Pick

Posted by Alex Murphy on October 8, 2015 in

Forget about the Yankees who played like a bunch of sissies in their loss to the Astros on Monday; here is a team you can trust to give a respectable performance in the MLB Playoffs–the Texas Rangers. Though they come into their ALDS game against the Toronto Blue Jays as MLB betting underdogs, the Rangers have a lot going on in their favor to warrant trust from their supporters in the MLB odds and lines. But before we delve into all that, kindly take note of the following game details so that you can plan on how to place your wagers accordingly and in a timely manner.

In Depth Analysis on the Texas Rangers vs Toronto Blue Jays ALDS Game 1 Betting Pick

Starter Pitchers: Yovani Gallardo vs. David Price
Venue: Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ontario
Date: Thursday, October 8m 2015
Time: 3:37 PM ET

Rangers vs. Blue Jays Historic Betting Trends

The Rangers have arguably been the hottest team in the MLB over the last couple of months, bragging of the best record in the league since August 15th (at 31-17), the second-best record since September 1st (at 20-12) and the third-best record since September 16th (at 11-7). It is essentially because of that strong finish to the regular season, and the faltering of the Houston Astros in the past two months, that the Rangers finished as AL West Champions. Considering they were the worst team in the division just a season ago, it is certainly commendable that Rangers (88-74) finished as the best team in the AL West this season.

The Rangers have, however, not been alone in their hot run, as the Blue Jays (93-69) have been right there with them. The Jays are 29-16 since August 15th, 19-14 since September 1st, and 11-7 since September 16th. Their splendid romp in the season, which was greatly boosted by a number of key signings in the MLB Trade Deadline, resulted in an AL East title, their first divisional title since 1993.

After such impressive regular season performances, you can be sure that the both teams will be looking to make most of this opportunity to advance further in the playoffs and hopefully stake a claim on the 2015 World Series odds.

In the regular season, the Jays won 4 of the 6 games played against the Rangers, claiming 2 of 3 games at home back in June, and then 2 of 3 in Arlington in August. That fine run against Texas, along with the home advantage in this Game 1 clash, is the key reason why the Blue Jays are considered as hot baseball betting favorites over their visitors.

Remarkably, Toronto’s strength has been in their offense, ranked best in the MLB  in runs (891), slugging percentage (.457) and base percentage (.340), plus second-best in second in batting average (.269). Josh Donaldson has been the most lethal piece in this offense, leading Toronto in homers (41), RBI (123) and batting average (.297). The Rangers will thus need their defense to be very disciplined to stop Donaldson and his very solid unit.

Moreover, the trading deadline gamble on acquiring ace David Price from the Rays has paid off greatly, as the pitching guru has gone 9-1 with a 2.30 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and 87 strikeouts in 74.1 innings against just 18 walks since joining the Blue Jays in the midseason. With Price set to start this series, the Rangers will also have to find ways of containing the ace lefty starter.

For Texas, their mixture of decent performances from both ends of the field is what has been responsible for their good run. The fact that the Rangers were shaky in their pitching staff this season, ranking 23rd and 24th in team ERA (4.24) and opponents’ batting average (.266), respectively, has been vastly discussed as a concern for the team in the playoffs.

Even so, Texas fans can take comfort in the fact that right-hander Yovani Gallardo, who will be starting in this game, did not allow a run in his two starts against the Jays this season. Though he is not known for strike out many batters or throwing the ball hard, Gallardo (3.42 ERA this season) is a finesse thrower who specializes in pitching to contact and keeping hitters off balance with a variety of throws, which could help in keeping Toronto’s scores relatively regulated.

In addition, the Jays will be using 20-year-old Roberto Osuna as their closer, which is good news for the Rangers since the rookie has been a bit shaky on the mound this season. This could give the Rangers a chance to close the game strongly.

Key Matchup Betting Trends

•    Texas is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games
•    Toronto is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games
•    Texas is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games on the road
•    Toronto is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games at home
•    Texas is 1-4 SU in its last 5 road games against Toronto
•    Toronto is 6-2 SU in its last 8 overall games against Texas
•    The total has gone OVER in 13 of Texas’ last 19 games
•    The total has gone OVER in 5 of Toronto’s last 6 games
•    The total has gone OVER in 2 of the last 3 games between Texas and Toronto
•    The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Toronto’s last 6 home games against Texas

Key Pitching Trends

•    Price is 18-5, 2.45 ERA for the season
•    Gallardo is 13-11, 3.42 ERA for the season
•    The Blue Jays went 9-2 in games Price started for them this season
•    The Rangers went 19-14 in games Gallardo started for them this season

My Betting Prediction

Even without solid play on the mound, the havoc-wrecking trio of Donaldson, Jorge Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion (who combined for 120 home runs and 348 runs batted in this season) would have been sufficient to lead Toronto to a win in this game. The fact that Price is available in the hill is therefore a huge added advantage, and when you combine that with the home advantage, the Jays are undeniably the best option for the victory in the free MLB picks. In the run-total, this series has been producing big-scoring margins, so we believe another high-scoring clash is in the books. The game should thus be able to pay bettors with OVER eight runs.